NCAA Division I board decides to retain current initial-eligibility sliding scale

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With the decision in October 2011 to raise the initial-eligibility standards for college basketball players beginning with the 2016 class, there was concern that a higher percentage of players would be ruled ineligible as freshmen.

That legislation would have required a prospective student-athlete to have a minimum GPA of 2.3 and complete at least ten of their 16 core courses before the start of their senior year of high school.

But due to a concern about “unintended consequences” that would occur as a result of the increased standards, the NCAA announced on Thursday that its Division I board has decided to retain the current initial-eligibility scale for the foreseeable future.

“APRs are improving, and I believe they will continue to improve,” Committee on Academic Performance chair Walter Harrison, also president of the University of Hartford, said in the release. “I’m concerned about minority students who would be affected by the dramatic change to the sliding scale.

“The new 930 APR benchmark required for postseason competition is impacting coaches’ recruiting decisions.  These changes and the action the Board took today to strengthen the high school core GPA calculation will make the positive effects even more dramatic.”

The decision to retain the current sliding scale is a good one, especially when considering the increase in corresponding SAT score that would come with the proposed “new” sliding scale.

Currently, student-athletes with a 2.5 GPA need an 820 on the SAT in order to be eligible. Under the proposed 2016 changes, the same student with a 2.5 GPA would have needed to score a 1,000 on the SAT.

In regards to the calculation of a student-athlete’s GPA in core courses only the best “16 best grades meeting the required distribution of math, science, English and other courses” will be allowed to count.

That change, which is a departure from the current system that “allows as many core courses as a prospective student-athlete takes within the time limitation to count toward the final GPA” will become official on August 1, 2016.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.

Division III William Paterson forfeits game to protest coach’s firing

William Paterson Athletics
William Paterson Athletics
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William Paterson, a Division III basketball program in New Jersey, forfeited a game on Tuesday night to protest the firing of their head coach, Jose Rebimbas.

Rebimbas, a player for the 1990 Seton Hall team that reached the national title game, had been with the program for 20 years, amassing nearly 400 wins, winning six league titles and reaching nine NCAA tournaments. He announced his firing earlier this week on FaceBook, and the players on his team responded by boycotting Tuesday night’s matchup with Ramapo.

Dylan Burns, a William Paterson student that does play-by-play for the school’s athletic teams, tweeted that the basketball players came out of the locker room for layups lines, took off their warmups, threw them in a pile on the court and walked off the floor.

The following screengrabs from instagram videos that have since been removed show the players leaving the floor:

Screengrab via Instagram

And the jerseys piled in the middle of the court:

Screengrab via Instagram

The crowd at the game can be heard cheering when it is announced that the game has been forfeited.

Rebimbas wrote the following on FaceBook over the weekend:

“It is with great sadness and extreme frustration that after today I will not be coaching the basketball team at William Paterson University. WP has been my home and family for more than 20 years and yet the University has taken action to remove me from the service I love. People I have trusted and served with have defied logic and are pursing my termination because of a misunderstanding over a facility rental fee for a camp that I run.”

“These actions come despite the University hearing officer determining that termination was not warranted. The University has unfairly and illegally taken my right to coach and mentor the student-athletes I love. I am prepared to fight the actions of William Paterson University and restore my good name and that of the program.”